Radcliffe Olympic U11 Red began their pre-season friendlies 9-a-side campaign at South Notts College against a good footballing side, NG United.
ROFC U11 Red known for their slow starts, did just that in the first half of the match. The players were finding it difficult to keep their shape, pass the ball effectively, maintain possession of the ball, make effective challenges to win the ball and as a result not too many opportunities were created to trouble the visitors.
NG United retained and moved the ball better and were enjoying good spells of possession as they moved the ball from out of defence into attack with regular frequency. It did not come as a surprise when the deadlock was finally broken by the visitors as the ROFC U11 Red failed to close down quickly and make enough effective challenges to win the ball. A quick break saw NG United pass their way into the ROFC U11 Red box which resulted in an easy chance to place the ball either side of the keeper to take the lead which was executed without any problems. As ROFC U11 Red tried to settle down and play some controlled football at the back as one of the ROFC U11 Red defenders got closed down and dispossessed of the ball. NG United went on to extend their lead with a well finished off shot past George Beech into the goal, as their player carried the ball from outside the area into box.
ROFC U11 Red did manage to create some opportunities of their own and with a solo run into the box by Jacob Murden saw the deficit halved as he struck the ball home from close range with the outside of his right foot. However straight from the kick off without very much resistance, ROFC U11 Red showed their naivety, NG United reestablished their two goal lead with a direct route to goal down the centre of the pitch. (HT1-3).
After some well needed soul searching and questions about commitment during the interval the attitude of ROFC U11's seemed to improve. As the half unfolded their overall shape, their movement and passing and challenging for the ball started to improve as the match became more of an even contest. The visitors were made to work a lot harder to increase their lead and also to avoid losing their lead as ROFC U11 Red started to impose themselves on the visitors defence and ultimately to test the agility of their keeper.
With ROFC U11 Red coming back into the game they were struck another blow when NG United extended their lead yet again with a good finish from close range. The hosts battled on and once again reduced the deficit to two goals when Jacob Murden completed a brace when he broke free of the defenders and managed to nick the ball to the side of the advancing keeper for the ball to roll agonizingly slowly into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. This goal seemed to inspire the ROFC U11 Red and raise the levels of their game as they finished the game in the ascendency. However time was not on their side and the visitors took the spoils with what turned out to be well contested game in the second half. (FT2-4)